By Billy Black, Moray.
The pharmacist, the chemist , the guy/girl in the white coat; we are instantly recognisable within every community or in every High Street. But what do we do? What is our purpose? What does it feel like to be a pharmacist?
What do we do? Well we have many functions. We sell medicines to help with the symptoms of most minor ailments. We can even cure some illnesses. We dispense medications. We give FREE advice on any healthcare issue. We have NO appointment system, we are readily available. We offer a vast array of professional service such as Emergency Hormonal Contraception, Nicotine replacement therapy, Champix clinics, Antibiotics for certain conditions, the Minor Ailment service, the Chronic medication service, Travel advice and vaccination, Medication management systems, Gluten Free services, Private and NHS Flu vaccination, Palliative care services, and Emergency prescription services.
What is our purpose? Our purpose is to serve the public promptly and deliver an excellent safe service at all times. Collectively we operate this service 365 days a year from about 8am until midnight. We are always available in person or via the telephone.
Who are we ? We are highly trained University educated professionals who have well defined links to the emergency services when we cannot provide the care a patient requires. We listen to our customers. We are sometimes a grief counselor, a friend, the go to person in times of need.
What does it feel like to be a pharmacist? Privileged, satisfying, challenged, are some of the words that immediately spring to mind. It can be very stressful like most jobs today. We are ably assisted by highly trained support staff to helps lessen our workload. We are always learning new things every day and we have to constantly evolve our learning to provide even more services to the general public.
We sometimes feel undervalued and taken for granted; the vast majority of us work extra hours for no reward other than to provide the very best care for our patients.
After 31 years doing this job. It feels great.